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Citigroup Plans to Boost Asia Business Amid Coronavirus Fears

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Per a Bloomberg article, Citigroup (C - Free Report) expects to strengthen the retail wealth management unit in Asia by making investments in online trading despite the slowdown in business activities globally due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The company expects a 10% increase in new clients and assets in the region. Also, it seeks to deepen presence in about 12 markets through improvement in technology such as electronic authorization of documents and digital systems.

Citigroup’s retail wealth business caters clients those who have investable assets of $100,000 to $10 million. Fabio Fontainha, Citigroup’s head of retail banking for the Asia Pacific, said, “We think wealth is a leading business here in Asia.”

Per the article, Citigroup plans to significantly increase the number of its wealth-management clients by 2025 in Singapore itself. Also, due to the covid-19 fears, relationship managers are approaching customers by video conferencing and through mobile chats.

Fontainha added that the trend to reach clients through alternative modes and conduct online banking is only to pick uptrend. Also, it is expected to be an advantage for the bank as it gets about a third of new clients online.

Recently, Citigroup along with other Wall Street biggies like JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Free Report) , Bank of America (BAC - Free Report) , Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo (WFC - Free Report) and Goldman Sachs announced plans to suspend stock repurchase programs in the light of the coronavirus outbreak.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented challenge for the world and the global economy and the largest U.S. banks have an unquestioned ability and commitment to supporting our customers, clients and the nation,” the Financial Services Forum said.

Shares of Citigroup have lost 26.5% over the past six months compared with 23.2% decline recorded by the industry.

 

 

The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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